How do you incorporate feedback from stakeholders into the backlog?

Ever pondered, “How do you incorporate stakeholder feedback into the backlog?

Well, sit tight because that’s precisely what we’re diving into today. 😊

Let’s unpack stakeholder feedback in the backlog.

Refinement is More Than Meets the Eye

I often chuckle when this topic comes up.

Why? 🧐

Because the answer is both about refinement… and kind of not.

Let’s break it down.

Review is a Crucial Feedback Point

In the world of Scrum, one of the primary places you’re likely to receive feedback about your work is during the review. πŸ”„

While you’re demonstrating your work, the real goal is to seek invaluable feedback from stakeholders about your work’s trajectory. So, this isn’t just a demonstration. This is where you capture insights about your current work and where it’s headed next. πŸ€”

Rethinking Refinement

When we think of product backlog refinement, we traditionally envision the product owner collaborating with developers. But it’s much more than that.

It’s where questions get posed, answers emerge, and even where some topics go off for further research. πŸ’‘

And always remember, our product owner often represents various stakeholders. But let’s be honest. There is no point in talking to a proxy when the real thing is there.

Direct Conversations Lead to Clarity

It’s quite simple. When stakeholders and developers directly engage, understanding deepens. Stakeholder engagement, more often than not, is unfiltered and direct. This connection can lead to better outcomes than a chain of relayed information.

Engaging directly with stakeholders instead of through intermediaries ensures clarity. ➑️

Every additional link in the communication chain is a potential point of misinterpretation or misunderstanding. Remember, every time we put an extra link in the chain, there’s an opportunity to misunderstand, misrepresent, or misinterpret. 🎯

It’s not always about ill intent. Sometimes, it’s just our inherent human tendency to perceive things based on our experiences and moods.

Engage Stakeholders Constantly

Yes, bring stakeholders into the refinement process. Therefore, continuous dialogue with stakeholders is key. Discuss assumptions, delve into problems, and always validate your understanding. πŸ”„

Beyond refinement and reviews, engage stakeholders throughout the sprint. As I’ve mentioned, talk to them because maybe you’re a couple of degrees off target and that quick conversation can get you back on track.

The goal?

A review that’s not about pointing out discrepancies but rather celebrating how you nailed it. 🀝

End Goal: Amazement and Delight

When you incorporate stakeholder feedback properly, your review isn’t about potential missed marks. πŸ˜„

It’s about celebrating how you nailed it, delivering what stakeholders wanted.

There’s so much more to uncover around incorporating feedback from stakeholders into the backlog, so if this exploration resonated with you, I’d love for you to delve deeper into the world of Agile and Scrum through my courses. πŸš€

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John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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